India

India helicopter crash kills seven in Kashmir

Indian people gather at the site of a crash of the Vaishno Devi bounded helicopter at Katra about 45km from Jammu, the winter capital of Kashmir, India, 23 November 2015 Image copyright EPA
Image caption The helicopter caught fire soon after taking off

At least seven people have been killed in a helicopter crash in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The helicopter was carrying pilgrims to the Vaishno Devi shrine, considered one of India's holiest temples.

The helicopter caught fire soon after taking off and services have been suspended in the area, police say.

"Seven people - six pilgrims and the lady pilot - died in the crash. We are investigating," Police Inspector General Danish Rana told AFP.

Television footage showed charred wreckage strewn over a field.

Thousands of Hindu devotees visit the town of Katra each year, climbing for miles to worship a Hindu goddess at the Vaishno Devi cave shrine, which is 37 miles (60 km) north-east of the city of Jammu.

Helicopter services are popular among pilgrims who want to avoid the strenuous hike.

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